October 18, 2011
While getting ready for my recent trip to New York City, I was hearing a lot about the Occupy Wall Street movement – a demonstration started one month ago by “we the people,” the majority who make up the 99% – as opposed to the wealthiest 1% – who have had it with what has been happening in our economy, our government, our healthcare system and our job market.
As the movement began spreading city to city at a feverish pace – including my own LA – I became more intrigued and pleased to see people finally speaking up. The 1960s had their demonstrations and their protest songs but for the decades since, an incredible apathy has had a hold of this country as it declined into a mess. Once thriving citizens are now part of our nation’s homeless, poverty stricken population. Our leaders are setting examples of debt and stubborn squabbling that’s an embarrassment. Is this really America?
And they are doing it by exercising their freedom of speech and right to assemble in non-violent protests (though there are always the troublemakers who turn up who have nothing to do with the movement.) It’s a completely grassroots movement that combines people, passion and the power of social media to spread the word. It represents today and who we are in every way.
So when I was in New York City last week, I wanted to see the group who began this now-global action statement for myself. I checked their Twitter and Facebook pages and found they were gathering at Washington Square Park at 3 p.m. Oct 9th. During my walk there, I noticed that the NYPD also got the memo and I’d never seen so many police roaring up – they came in cars, vans, motorcycles, scooters and on horseback. They lined every street on both sides leading up to the park. It seemed a bit of overkill to me and looked like they were waiting for something big and terrible to happen. It made me very nervous to say the least. One dicey move by anybody could trigger this to go ugly very fast.
However, what I saw on that day was a very peaceful protest of people with the guts to speak up and speak for everyone, to stand in the hot sun and hold up signs to make people think and question about what we’ve just accepted as THE system.
It will be very interesting to see where this goes.
Click the photo below to see the photos from my day with Occupy Wall Street:
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Make your stand.
The whole world is watching,